In the course's second week, we have been invited to consider some different approaches to two very important aspects of teaching: academic search and lesson planning.
I have never given much thought about how to search the web or which engine to use for this up until now. For me it has always been a sort of a reflex - googling. However, 'NoodleTools' with its list of categorized search engines brought up some new interesting instruments to try out and evaluate. It made me realize only then that I have different needs when going on the net consequently causing a feeling that a whole new path of web searching appeared in front of me to be explored, walked upon and included in the future strides of mine. That does not necessarily mean I will give up good old Google that easily, on the contrary, but when stuck or in two minds (or bored?), I will reach for help on NoodleTools. It's always nice and safe to know there are alternatives at hand.
New perspectives on writing objectives and Bloom's Digital Taxonomy were a real treat. I've written quite a number of objectives about the things the students will have learned, skills they will have improved and points they will have reached by the end of the lesson with no regard to the conditions and the degree because these two very important aspects were simply implied in my mind, as I saw it. Only now do I see how vague and ambiguous that really was. The ABCD objectives demand some serious thinking and precision therefore sticking to them every single time when planning a lesson will not only make our teaching much more better but also, paradoxically, easier. The time we invest in planning will pay off during the lesson.
For ending this blog, I will borrow a metaphor for writing objectives from Jim Scrivener's 'Learning Teaching ' and accompany it with my own humble one about web searching . If we think of a lesson as a cross-country hike, we know where we want to end up even without seeing the end and getting there successfully is our main objective. We have to make a number of various decisions to make about the way - the speed, route, map, aids... - all of them related to the main decision about the objective. If not precisely and clearly defined, our walk could still be enjoyable, but we might miss some really interesting sites, waste our time, meet some unexpected problems and even be in a position to get lost. Also, if we already have a dominant way of taking a hike and scouting the environment, it might be inspiring and enlightening to give a try to some new, smaller and yet unexplored paths to see what's there in them for us.